Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister Simon Harris highlight apprenticeship opportunities available for employers and trainees

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Friday 4th September 2020

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris have today reported strong interest in the Government’s new Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme.

On a visit to the Pfizer Grange Castle campus to meet with company representatives and apprentices from Pfizer’s four apprenticeship programmes, they encouraged employers and new trainees to consider undertaking an apprenticeship as an alternative to traditional third level education or direct entry into the workplace.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said: “We want more employers to see for themselves the benefits of taking on apprentices. The advantages include having a wider talent pool inside your company, a greater range of bespoke skills among employees, and the ability to deal with specific skill gaps.

“Around 6,500 employers are already running apprenticeship programmes but we want to see many more. The July Stimulus Initiative established the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme, which provides a grant of €3,000 per apprentice over two years, for employers who register apprentices before the end of the year.  It offers greater choice to employers and to school leavers and learners of all ages.

“I’m very happy to report that in the three weeks since the Scheme went live, applications have been received from employers representing 310 individual apprentices.”

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said: “As Leaving Cert results are issued and the focus inevitably turns to CAO offers over the coming weeks it is important for students to remember that there are many routes to a chosen career and I would encourage students to look at all the options available to them, including apprenticeship.” 

“Today’s visit is a prime example of the range of options available to school leavers and learners of all ages – in this one organisation there are 24 apprentices across laboratory, electrical instrumentation and mechanical automation and maintenance fitting programmes.  Not only are these apprentices gaining a recognised qualification, but at the same time they are gaining paid workplace experience.

“Apprenticeship offers real choice both to business and learners of all ages and stages of experience.  The sector has changed radically over the past 4 years, with 58 different programmes now available across all sectors of the economy.   Last month three new programmes were launched – the Supply Chain Associate apprenticeship (QQI level 7), the first Recruitment Executive apprenticeship which is a 3 year QQI level 8 award and the Principal Engineer apprenticeship which is the first apprenticeship in Ireland to lead to a QQI level 10 award.”

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